Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup
And looking up, I noticed I was late
Found my coat and grabbed my hat
Made the bus in seconds flat
Found my way upstairs and had a smoke And somebody spoke and I went into a dream
– A Day in the Life, by The Beatles
Yesterday I was driving home on the freeway listening to the Beatles album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Often while driving I multi-task; paying attention to the task of vehicle operational control, while letting my mind drift and solving many of life’s complex mysteries and problems. Reflecting on the lyrics of A Day in the Life, I started to think about a typical day on the trail.
IT’S NOT A BIG DEAL
Thought I’d share how I plan my trips, because it seems to me that many folks spend way too much time planning their trips. This is what works for me.
Some thoughts on rain gear…
There is no perfect rain gear.
What works for me may not work for others. Of utmost importance is the fact that each of us have a different physiology, hike at different speeds; and each trip varies in weather, temperature, and terrain. Each of these variables contribute different kinds of rain gear solutions. Like so much other backpacking gear, the hiker will need to learn from experience what works best for them. You won’t learn it here, or anywhere on the Internet, or in a book.
So I decided to share what I have learned over the years — what has worked and what has not worked. Your experience may be different.
MAYBE WE SHOULD MIND OUR OWN BUSINESS
There are quite a few things in life that irritate me. The top of my list includes:
- religious people who knock on my door telling me I will burn in Hell if I don’t accept their religion
- Prius owners who accost me in gas stations and condemn me for damaging the planet with my SUV
- petition gatherers who want to deny property rights
- New York Mayor Bloomberg who thinks I am too stupid to take care of myself because I like to drink Venti Frappacinios
- politicians who want to pass all sorts of laws and ordinances because they think the populace doesn’t know what is best for them
- and lightweight backpackers who evangelize to other backpackers they meet on the trail that their pack is too heavy.
A WEEKEND HIKE TO ASSESS THE SAN JACINTO FIRE DAMAGE
In the summer I do a lot of hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail south of the San Jacinto Wilderness. Because it is hot this time of year and there is little water available, most hikers avoid this part of the trail. Since this area is usually 20 degree cooler than where I live, and there are few hikers, it is an excellent destination for me.
Unfortunately most of this section was burned in the San Jacinto Fire a couple weeks ago. Right now the PCT is closed from Highway 74 north, past the San Jacinto State Park Wilderness, a 50 mile long section of trail. From what I could see on this hike, and the fire I observed from my house a couple weeks ago, I would not be surprised if this section (or parts of it) are closed for several years.
A while back I posted about Dave Chenault’s Pyramid Shelter article. At that point it dawned on me that I have not discussed this shelter previously. The Wild Oasis seems to be a shelter that often gets little love. It has been around for quite a while; I bought mine in 2008. But I don’t see many people talking about it these days. I typically only used mine for those days when I expected a lot of flying insects. But since I decided to do a review, it occurred to me that I should use it more often.
JUST GO TO THE MANY BLOGS AND WEBSITES OF BACKPACKING EXPERTS AND FOLLOW THEIR EXAMPLE
Okay, it is a pet peeve of mine.
Yesterday I was reading a review of a wood stove on a well known backpacking blog and I notice about 6 inches of leaves and brush have been cleared from around the base of the stove.
Only problem is, the flames from the stove extend a few inches above the pot, which is sitting on top of a wood burning inferno of a stove. The entire assembly height is at least twice the width of the cleared area. Knock the stove over and you have a forest fire.